Main article: Government policies and the subprime mortgage crisis
U.S. Subprime lending expanded dramatically 2004-2006
Both government failed regulation and deregulation contributed to the crisis. In testimony before Congress both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Alan Greenspan conceded failure in allowing the self-regulation of investment banks.
Increasing home ownership has been the goal of several presidents including Roosevelt, Reagan, Clinton and G.W.Bush. In 1982, Congress passed the Alternative Mortgage Transactions Parity Act (AMTPA), which allowed non-federally chartered housing creditors to write adjustable-rate mortgages. Among the new mortgage loan types created and gaining in popularity in the early 1980s were adjustable-rate, option adjustable-rate, balloon-payment and interest-only mortgages. These new loan types are credited with replacing the long standing practice of banks making conventional fixed-rate, amortizing mortgages. Among the criticisms of banking industry deregulation that contributed to the savings and loan crisis was that Congress failed to enact regulations that would have prevented exploitations by these loan types. Subsequent widespread abuses of predatory lending occurred with the use of adjustable-rate mortgages. Approximately 80% of subprime mortgages are adjustable-rate mortgages.
In 1995, the GSE's like Fannie Mae began receiving government tax incentives for purchasing mortgage backed securities which included loans to low income borrowers. Thus began the involvement of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with the subprime market. In 1996, HUD set a goal for Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac that at least 42% of the mortgages they purchase be issued to borrowers whose household income was below the median in their area. This target was increased to 50% in 2000 and 52% in 2005. From 2002 to 2006, as the U.S. subprime market grew 292% over...